Humans have a complicated relationship with darkness. Who among
us did not fear the dark as a child? The tiniest bump in the night sent
me running to my parents’ room for reassurance. (I was convinced a
monster caused it.) My teenage years came with warnings to be home
before twelve because “nothing good ever happens after midnight.”
While I no longer worry about monsters or get into curfew
trouble, I still lie awake some nights worrying about those irrational
fears that don’t seem as logical in the light of day. Insomnia often
includes worries that are hard to silence. Even at the end of her life,
my mother said that she never feared cancer as much as she did at
night. It was in the silence of the darkness that her deepest doubts,
her crises of faith, and her fear of death raged, tormenting her. From
our earliest days until our last, we long for the light that brings hope.
Today’s passage offers the comfort that Jesus is this light. Ephesians 5 reminds us that spiritual darkness is a liar and a thief. Those troubling things that stay hidden in the shadows—sin, grief, doubt, fear, hopelessness—are best managed when we expose them to the light that is Christ. When our darkness brings dread, Jesus offers assurance. When darkness brings chaos, Jesus gives calm. When darkness makes life feel meaningless, Jesus embodies hope. As “chil- dren of the light,” God calls us to do what Jesus does. God calls us to throw open the curtain, reminding the world that “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it” (John 1:5, NIV).
What pain do we try to hide? What do we need to expose to Christ’s light?
“I want to walk as a child of the light. I want to follow Jesus. God set the stars to give light to the world. The star of my life is Jesus. In Him there is no darkness at all, the night and the day are both alike. The lamb is the light of the city of God. Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.”
—Kathleen Thomerson, hymn writer, “I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light.”